Is there still a place for the employee magazine?

01 August 2022

Internal communications has moved on from the days of the memo (piece of paper in a big brown envelope with lots of names on it, some ticked off). We’ve got apps for this; intranets for that; email for everything; and Yammer for, well, not much at all.

But the company magazine hasn’t completely died a death – for many frontline employees, it is still alive and well, and on numerous coffee tables and in many depots across the UK.

Despite the finance director wondering why we’re paying all this money for paper, IT deliberating how to make it into a digital format no-one will have access to, and the comms team hoping that digital will at least give them some data.

So what’s the argument for producing an employee magazine in 2022?

It’s not an email

Okay, cheap shot. But the truth is that sending an email newsletter to all those email-drenched people in your business is like the government giving a multi-millionaire premier league footballer £400 towards their energy bills.

It’s something you can pick up and read

There’s a lovely serendipity about a magazine lying on a table in a depot or staff room, that people can just pick up and flick through.

It’s not about leaders

Or at least it shouldn’t be.  This is a chance to celebrate colleagues and share great stories from across the organisation.

It can be long and short form

Short form is obviously all the rage.  But long form still has its place.  Great features, especially about topics people care about (NOT the leadership team) are important in really engaging people.

It’s not an app

There are still some people who’d prefer paper to iPad.

But surely it’s not sustainable?

Printing does mean chopping down trees, not to mention the energy and ink that goes into the production as well.  But today, you can use FSC paper which ensures greater sustainability and most printers will provide a carbon capture programme too.

Sometimes it is undoubtedly the right thing to do, to stop paper production.  However, it’s also laughable that companies will say no to a printed magazine but at the same time fly leaders around the world to meet up.

And is it worth all the effort?

Another big thing for Comms teams is the effort that goes into a bi-monthly or quarterly magazine.  It takes a lot of work finding stories, writing features, proof reading and distributing.

But if the outcome is a significant benefit in engagement and performance, then who’s to argue?

Do you agree? Or is email good for you? Get in touch and let us know.

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